Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It’s Five and I’m Alive!!!

I just can’t sleep past five it seems. I was wide awake this morning ready to go as the first light of the day was on the horizon.  Maggie was on the bed vigorously digging at her cooties which woke me up.  I decided to sleep on the bed for a change last night.  I was so exhausted I could’ve slept on the floor and got a good night’s sleep.

Can’t Even Bake Cookies without Hell Breaking Loose…

I stopped by mom and dad’s last night to get more of mom’s chocolate chip and walnut cookies.  They are addicting.  Dad hasn’t let mom cook in decades and she took it upon herself recently to bake cookies. Dad will say she will burn the house down trying to cook. My mother was always such a wonderful cook – her cornbread being the best I have ever tasted.   Dad about had a fit saying she is sloppy and won’t clean up after herself.

I was sitting on the couch eating as I watched the television.  Mom and my cousin Jean were both sitting in the den with me reading books – both being bookworms. 

“I wouldn’t let him treat you the way he treats you,” my cousin Jean told my mother of  my father very bluntly. “He treats you like crap.”

“I don’t know what to do,” mom replied looking worried. “I am so dependent upon Johnny.”

“I wouldn’t talk to him a few weeks and see how it likes it,” Jean said.

“He would like it if I didn’t talk to him,” my mother replied sounding so discouraged. “He says I bother him too much with silly things.”

My eyebrows raised and I listened in intently at their conversation.  I so wish mom would assert herself and take more control of her life.  My father does treat her like dirt.  It is sad really as my mom is such a wonderful person.  It just makes me so deeply sad for her.

Mom once left dad and got an apartment.  This was before she retired.  It didn’t last long though.  Dad convinced her to come home. 

The Changing of the Guard…

“Why don’t you stop by and eat breakfast with me every morning before work?” Florene asked me on the phone last night. “You know I would love that.”

“I have the medication ritual with dad every morning,” I told her sounding disappointed. “I would if I could.”

“I need someone to cook for,” Mrs. Florene said laughing good heartedly. “Ever since George went to jail, I about don’t know what to do with myself.  He was my life.”

Mrs. Florene is a “feeder”.  She feels this need to cook for those she loves.

“Mrs. Florene?” I then asked. “Will you be my representative payee for my disability?”

“Baby! You know I would do anything for you.  What do we need to do?”

“We just have to drive down to Opelika and switch it over.  It takes all of five minutes,” I told her. “The checks will come to you and you can sign them over to me.  We will probably need to get a checking account and have the check electronically deposited.”

“Just let me know when you want to go,” Florene said.

“Can we go tomorrow afternoon?” I asked. “I will take us out to eat afterwards at the Western Sizzlin’”

“Just pick me up when you are ready, baby,” Mrs. Florene replied. “I look forward to spending some time with you.  You know I would do anything in the world for you for all you’ve done for George over the years.”

I hung up the phone and felt better for having done that.  I feel this is a huge step in gaining my independence and my disability money has been one of my biggest obstacles in years.  Dad still will not allow me access to that money and I need it to save and get my car fixed from that deer damage many months ago.  Mom says he has several thousand dollars of my money saved up in my account.  He told me the other night that I wasn’t mentally competent enough to handle it – that I would just drink it away and end up homeless again. That’s not his decision to make.  A thousand dollars a month will go a long way to getting me situated moneywise.  I am willing to pay all my bills and handle all the responsibility that comes with having that money.

Next on the agenda?  To get my health insurance cards from mom and take control of my healthcare for the first time in a decade.  I am going to start getting my prescriptions filled at my uncle’s pharmacy ending the forced medication ritual.  And I am also getting a new psychiatrist that is not a pill pusher and in my father’s back pocket. I know of a good female psychiatrist and I am going to get an appointment soon.  I just need my insurance cards.  So many changes!  This is going to be scary, but needs to be done for my self esteem and my emotional and mental wellbeing!


LM said...

Your Dad has has your POA...how can you make these changes, Andrew? Who will pay taxes on your home, insurance on your car, etc? Better think long and hard before you make any changes.

PipeTobacco said...


I am not sure, but I suspect you will need to inform your current designated payee (your father) of the impending change you wish, and you may need to have him with you and Mrs. Florene to actually enact the change.

Again, I may be wrong about this, so apologies if I am, but I think you may need to check out requirements further before hand (You may have already done this, and if so, my advice is moot.).

Wishing you a very happy, fun-filled, and moderate day! It has been very nice seeing you have such a good time, feeling good, feeling a sense of accomplishment, and feeling a sense of purpose!


This IS The Fun Part! said...

I think you're doing way too much way too fast. You should wait on the SSD for a couple of months until things have settled down a little.

Once you have shown dad how well you can do, he may relent and give you more control. If not, then you can make these changes.

With him in charge, they will not change it easily. I think that you will find that you need his permission to make changes to your SSD. Sorry to say that - but I think I'm right on that one.

Better to wait a couple of months than to start WW III, in my opinion!

I mean well and love ya,

Tee said...

I'm not sure you can change your Representative Payee without your dad's permission.

You need to reconsider making any changes to any of your financial arrangements. You have no idea what a BIG responsibility Representative Payee is, which requires reports to be filed with the SSA with details on how every single penny of your disability has been spent. You could get Mrs. Florence into a lot of trouble if you are spending the money and she is responsible for how it is spent. You best let your dad keep that responsibility. Not to mention that he could have you declared mentally incompetent by a court and you would really be in a mess.

Sophie said...

One step at a time Sweetie! I know you have all these changes you want to make in your life, and I applaud them and your desire to take back control. You are doing great, but please move slowly, let one routine get settled in before you take on another. Start with getting your paychecks and handling them responsibly. That is a big step for you and one I know you can accomplish. I also totally agree that you need another psychiatrist and pharmacist, ones that are objective, but be prepared for the "shit to hit the fan" when you make that move. Make sure you are feeling really strong and ready to handle the fallout. Baby steps in the right direction take longer, but make success more likely. Taking on too much too soon would overwhelm anyone and we all really want to see you succeed with your goal of independence!

kristi said...

I am afraid it won't be that easy. Please research it before you drive down there.

Sharyna said...

I was rep payee for my grandmother. No reports were necessary as Social Security is so busy they don't have the man power to go thru them. I am behind you 98.8%! I have a few reservations but overall you're doing soooo well!

glittermom said...

I am curious to know what your father was like when you were a child..Was he kind, did he pay attention to you, do things with you, was he a loving father? Or just consumed with making money..I would love to know what your childhood was like..

mngirl said...

I am representative payee for my mother, who is also mentally disabled. It is a big task, and she has no idea what goes on behind the scenes. The rep payee is legally responsible for all your monetary matters, and they are considerable if you are on Medicare and Medicaid. The volume of mail alone is enough to overwhelm someone. Making this change without alerting your father and all the various institutions linked up to your Social Security will cause chaos.